Khimki Moscow Region remained undefeated in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague this season by downing Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade 85-78 at Mytishchi Arena on Tuesday.
Khimki improved to 3-0, while Zvezda dropped to 1-2. James Anderson led the winners with 24 points and Alexey Shved recorded 18 points and a EuroLeague career-high 9 assists. Stefan Markovic added 10 points and Malcolm Thomas pulled down 10 rebounds for Khimki. Milko Bjelica paced Zvezda with 15 points, James Feldeine added 14, Taylor Rochestie 13 and Mathias Lessort had 12 and 8 rebounds for Zvezda. The visitors got off to a strong start as Feldeine and Bjelica shined early to give the Zvezda a 20-28 lead after 10 minutes. Markovic and Anderson helped Khimki to regain the lead, but Nikola Radicevic gave Zvezda a 43-44 edge at the break. Shved, Anderson and Thomas Robinson took over after the break as Khimki built a 64-55 lead through three quarters and kept a safe margin throughout the fourth.
Feldeine and Rochestie combined for all the points in a 0-7 opening run that put Zvezda in charge. Anthony Gill stepped up with back-to-back dunks and Shved added a layup to make it 6-9. A second-chance layup by Thomas gave the hosts their first lead, 11-9, after an 11-2 run. Bjelica and Ognjen Dobric each struck from downtown to put Zvezda back ahead, 15-20. Shved hit a triple and Anderson added a layup, but Pero Antic and an unstoppable Feldeine boosted the visitors' lead to 20-28 after 10 minutes. A driving layup by Markovic and a three-pointer by Shved got Khimki within 25-28 early in the second quarter. Radicevic took over, feeding Lessort for a big slam and restoring a 25-33 Zvezda margin. Markovic and Jenkins each struck from beyond the arc as Khimki tied the game at 38-38. Free throws by Anderson and Markovic completed the hosts' comeback, 43-42, but Radicevic restored a Zvezda edge at halftime, 43-44.
Anderson and Shved each hit a triple in transition to give Khimki a 51-46 lead soon after the break with an 8-0 run. Khimki found a new go-to guy in Robinson, who had a layup and a big slam in a 9-0 run that made it a double-digit game, 60-48. Rochestie and Antic brought Zvezda a bit closer, 64-55, after 30 minutes. Back-to-back baskets by Nikola Jovanovic gave Zvezda hope, 64-59, early in the fourth quarter. It didn't last long, however, as Thomas rescued Khimki and a coast-to-coast dunk by Shved caused Zvezda to call timeout at 72-61. Lessort and an outstanding Radicevic got Zvezda within 78-74 with over two minutes left, but free throws by Anderson and a dunk by Robinson sealed the outcome down the stretch.
Both teams return to action on Thursday; Zvezda hosts Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv, while Khimki plays on the road against Olympiacos Piraeus.